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weala’s violence: Over 100 and a Commissioner arrested

Emmanuel Degleh/Jos Garneo Cephas Sr.
The Weala Police Depot burnt down
The Weala Police Depot burnt down

MARGIBI, LIBERIA - Police in Margibi County have arrested the Commissioner of Sinta Township in the county, Roland Johnson, for his alleged involvement in a violent protest that took place in Weala Town.

The arrest of Commissioner Johnson, by police criminal investigators on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 brings the number of people in police custody to 110. Commissioner Johnson is being charged with five counts including rioting, criminal mischief, arson, criminal conspiracy and criminal facilitation.

On Monday, April 1, 2019 disenchanted motorcyclists backed by some community residents led a violent protest that led to the burning of two Weala-Police-Depots, a magisterial court and a car, also they vandalized and looted other private facilities in the Weala Township, in Margibi County.

The protesters’ action stem from what they said is the police delay in investigating the murder of a motorcyclist.  Meanwhile, according to ELBC Margibi County Correspondent, Weala remains tense as schools and businesses remain closed and the streets of Weala deserted following Monday’s lawless incident.

The government has condemned the attack and acts of violence and vandalism being perpetuated by motorcyclists on the town of Weala and other being perpetuated by motorcyclists around the country. The motorcyclists in Weala reacted over the death of their counterpart, identified as Moses Wolopaye.

The Ministry of Justice, in a release issued Tuesday, said: “Motorcyclists in Weala, without waiting for the completion of police investigation pursued persons believe to be perpetrators of the murder. Those found culpable will therefore be persecuted in accordance with the laws of Liberia”.  

The release also said violence is said to be on the increase in an out of Monrovia, in recent times. The Ministry of therefore, urging all citizens and residents to use the rule of law to mitigate issues of concerns.

Meanwhile, the President of the Federation of Motorcycle and Tricycle Unions of Liberia, John Kenyor, has condemned the Weala violence.

Mr. Kenyor, said: “The Union wants police conduct investigation into the situation that led to the death of the motorcyclist and also carry on speedy trial of all those arrested in order for the law to take its course”.

The head of the motorcyclists is also calling on his members to remain calm and look forward to their leadership for redress to problems that may confront them instead of taking the law into their own hands.

It can be recalled in recently motorcyclists in Maryland County and the St. Paul Bridge Community on the Bushrod Island went on the rampage, destroying and burning public buildings.


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